Planning permission has been granted for the development of an apartment complex on the site of a well-known former pub in Cork city, despite objections from a number of local residents including a city councillor.
An Bord Pleanála rejected the recommendation of its own planning inspector in upholding the decision of Cork City Council to approve the demolition of the Glenanaar pub in Ballinlough and construction of two four-storey blocks containing 26 apartments on the site.
The board said it had taken into account the location and zoning of the site at Haig Gardens as well as the Cork City Development Plan 2015-2021 and guidelines on the design standards for new apartments in urban areas.
Subject to a number of planning conditions, the board said the apartments would make a positive contribution to the built character of the area and provide an acceptable housing mix.
It also ruled that the development would not seriously injure the amenities of other properties in the vicinity and would be acceptable in terms of traffic and pedestrian safety and convenience.
The board said it had not accepted the recommendation of its own planning inspector as it believed it would make a positive contribution to the area by increasing residential densities in an appropriate location.
The inspector had advised that planning permission should be refused as the proposed development did not comply with the Cork City Development Plan’s objective to deliver high-quality, built environments as well as constituting an inappropriate housing mix because of a preponderance of studio and one-bedroom apartments.
The 26 apartments will consist of seven studio units, ten one-bedroom units and nine two-bed units.
However, the board said the design of the apartment blocks which step down towards the existing two-storey houses in the area would not be “incongruous” and represented a housing mix that complied with guidelines for the design of new apartments.
Independent councillor, Kieran McCarthy had objected to the plans on the grounds of the density of the development and the failure to provide any car parking facilities at the complex.
He also pointed out that the site at Haig Gardens was not suitable for development as it was originally built as a home for soldiers returning home from World War I.
A separate appeal was made by dentist, Hillary Hogan, who runs the Ballinlough Dental Care practice, which is located next to the former pub.
Consultants acting for Mr Hogan said the density of the apartment complex was “excessively high” and contrasted with other buildings in the area which were generally no higher than two stories.
If allowed, they claimed the development would result in the “unacceptable” overshadowing and overlooking of nearby properties.
They also observed that it was difficult to imagine that no provision was made for parking in a development of 26 apartments which would provide accommodation for around 50 people.
They claimed it would increase pressure on already limited on-street parking in the area.
Mr Hogan also expressed concern that construction work on the new apartments could cause structural damage to his own business premises.
A total of 104 submissions were received by the council expressing concerns about the project.
In a submission to Cork City Council, Fianna Fáil leader and local TD, Micheál Martin, expressed concern about the density and lack of parking facilities in the proposed development.
He added: “The logic behind it is based on the thinking that not alone will anyone living in such apartments not have a car but that they will never have one in the future. That is a flawed assumption.”
The developer, Denis McBarron, said all the issues raised by the appellants had been fully addressed and assessed by the council which had approved the development.